EPA Ramps Up Efforts to Develop and Consolidate the UAE’s Publishing Industry

Posted 1 years ago in News & Article

The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) recently held a second meeting with a group of its member publishers to prepare a clear strategy for improving the UAE’s publishing industry and advance the role of publishing industry professionals. Held as one in a series of meetings, the session was moderated by the EPA Vice President, Ali Al Shaali, and examined a range of ideas and proposals that would contribute to developing the publishing sector in the nation in a way that will be conducive to the birth of such creative and intellectual works that will boost up UAE’s knowledge production.

The meeting explored ways to tackle the current and future challenges facing the publishing sector here, and underlined that despite the great attention given to culture and education in the country, the publishing industry here still faces numerous challenges.

The tremendous efforts of Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of EPA, in leading the Association, and her clear direction that has resulted in the accomplishment of several milestones were highlighted. In no time, Bodour has succeeded in establishing EPA as a pioneering national institution that has embraced every UAE- based publisher that has taken up EPA membership, represented their interests and protected their rights in an industry  still in its nascent stages in the UAE, facing new and different challenges every day.

“We, at EPA, believe in the importance of the written word, its role in achieving cultural development, and creating a knowledge-based society. Our development strategy is perfectly aligned with the UAE’s in making reading a way of life here within the next decade,” said Ali Al Shaali explaining how the book’s importance as a product of a unique industry based on literary, scientific and humane principles.

He added: “Given the impossibility of converting these creative products into consumable items in isolation from the publisher responsible for the very existence of the books industry, EPA is keen to provide them every opportunity to drive the strengthening and development of the publishing industry.”

He pointed out that the meeting has concluded with a set of recommendations being made, which will guide the general framework that regulates the functioning of the publishing sector. Other recommendations include training courses and workshops, which will be undertaken in collaboration with local and international partners to train publishers in best practices, including making the most out of electronic publishing. In a move to encourage the dissemination of Arabic literature in other languages, the session recommended participating publishers to should select one publication under its name for translation. In achieving this goal, EPA will try to bring in funding for the translation of selected works, by capitalising on its partnerships with various bodies interested in introducing the world to Arabic culture in the UAE and abroad. EPA will submit memos to competent authorities to find solutions to the several challenges facing the publishing industry in the UAE. This is in line with 2016 national law of reading, which emphasised the importance of supporting the dissemination and distribution of reading materials. The law stipulates that reading materials shall be treated as a key commodity that are exempt from any fees or taxes, particularly for purposes concerning publishing, authoring, printing or distribution, in addition to exempting them from fees to acquire an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). EPA has begun organising a series of sessions with its members to enhance membership activity, and strengthen their ties with the EPA. The first of these meetings was held last week with group of publishers specialising in children's literature, at Sharjah’s Flag Island. During the meeting, they discussed ways to develop the publishing sector in alignment with EPA’s vision that aims to provide all forms of support to publishers. A range of issues of concern to publishers, of children’s literature, was discussed during the meeting. The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) was founded in 2009 under an initiative by Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, to develop the publishing sector in the UAE, provide support and training to Emirati publishers and represent them at local, regional and international forums related to the publishing industry. EPA, which is keen to promote the UAE’s intellectual output on a larger scale, has full membership in the International Publishers Association (IPA), and is a member of the Arab Publishers’ Association.


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